Now, just a few weeks out from this year’s show, Alfa Romeo has revealed the production version of the 4C, which will herald the return of the illustrious Italian brand on U.S. soil when it lands in showrooms later this year.
The production 4C, which will arrive as a 2014 model, looks every bit as breathtaking as the original concept, right down to its mid-engine layout and jet fighter-style cockpit.
It also maintains most of the concept’s drool-worthy specs, including the turbocharged four-cylinder engine, four metre length and full carbon fiber monocoque chassis.
Alfa Romeo hasn’t revealed just how much power the new 4C will deliver. If previous reports of 125 to 130 kilowatts are to be believed, we could be looking at a curb weight of just over 900 kilograms.
That power will be delivered by a turbocharged 1.75-litre engine, composed of aluminium and powering only the rear wheels. The engine gets direct-injection technology, Fiat Group’s MultiAir variable valve timing and a new "scavenging" system that's said to reduce turbo lag.
Previous performance estimates included a 0-100 time of around 4.5 seconds and a limited top speed of 250 km/h. Helping with those brisk performance numbers is the 4C’s new dual-clutch transmission, which offers full automatic or manual modes, the latter using paddle shifters located behind the steering wheel.
The handling, meanwhile, is taken care of thanks to lightweight aluminium suspension frames that get mounted to the car’s carbon tub. These feature double-wishbone and MacPherson strut designs. The 4C also comes with a driving ‘DNA’ selector, which will allow the driver to select from Dynamic, Natural and All Weather modes, plus a special Race mode.
Inside, the 4C, understandably, has just two seats. The design is driver focused and is accented by carbon fibre and aluminium. The center column, which is actually part of the carbon structure, has been left in full view to enhance the sense of uniqueness, of technology and light weight.
As previously reported, production will take place at a Maserati plant in Modena, Italy. Numbers will be limited, with some suggesting just 2,500 will be built for worldwide consumption, which means pricing could be set higher than the original estimates of around US$45k. Around 1,000 are expected for the North American market. The good news is that a 4C convertible is also planned and should arrive next year.
With the 2013 Geneva Motor Show kicking off on March 5, we'll have the full details on the 2014 Alfa Romeo 4C soon.